Greenside bunker basics – high lip escape, Golf Video
If there's one situation you don’t want to find yourself in on the golf course, when you don’t want those card wreckers, you know that 8, 9, or 10 after you're having a good round, you have the 8, 9, or 10 in one particular hole. That one situation would be a high lip in a bunker. Hitting into a bunker is bad enough. Then finding yourself in one of these high lips and you look at that shot and you think this could take me 4 or 5 to get out of this. Well, there's a technique where hopefully you'll be able to splash this ball out in one shot. Avoid those card wreckers, and yes, you've gone in a bunker, that’s not a great thing, but I'm back out on the green, a couple of putts, make a bogey, double bogey at worst, but I avoid the card wrecker. The best way to play this sort of shot is you need to get height and loft together, bolt up and out over the bunker. The one thing you don’t want to get caught doing is leaning back and scooping the ball. It's a very natural thing to think, you need to lean back and scoop to get up over the high lip in a bunker. It's not necessarily the case. What you need is a golf club that will hit the ball high for you.
So to start with, take your most lofted club, be that a sand wedge or even a lob wedge. A lob wedge should have about 4, 5, 6 degrees more loft than your sand wedge, and it's the lost we need here. So we take on those lofted club, you can add loft to the golf club, you take the club and you point it to the right for the right-handed golfer, left for left-handed golfers. You point it to the right of your target. So if my target is normally here down the camera lens, I'm going to point my golf club to the right. That now sits with more loft but the ball would go to the right so I need to make an adjustment of turning myself left so ultimately the club face points back down the target line again.
So I point the club here down the right hand side, I then move my body around so I'm aiming a little bit left. I then make a swing and the important thing is the swing is not towards the target, towards the flag. My swing is along my body line. So as I aim to the left hand side, my knees, my hips, my shoulders all point left. I should then swing to the left, but because the clubface is pointing back to the right, the ball would exit quite straight till slightly more right than my body and go very high because I've added the extra loft. So just looking it up from down the line, there's my target line, I'm going to aim left, knees, feet, hips, and shoulders all aiming to the left, the clubface aims to the right, the ball is center or slightly ahead of center so it keeps more loft and I make a nice swing along the line of my body but because the clubface is open, the ball pops out to the right hand side. So I'm aiming here, I swing along my body line not at my target, the ball pops out quiet straight but with loads of height. One other thing, just make sure you don’t release your hands in a rolling over motion. That would shoot the clubface down, take all the loft off it, and bury it back into the lip of the bunker.
So it's very similar to playing a flop shot. The difference here is I'm actually going to hit the sand before the ball. I don’t want to hit the ball cleanly, I certainly don’t want to hit on the top of the golf ball, that would bury it. So I'm going to go down under the sand, maybe two inches behind the ball, a nice big cushion of sand. The ball lifts out on that cushion, doesn’t go far, but goes very high. So if the clubface is pointing to the right for the right-handed golfer, the feet pointing left, the body line aiming left as well, the ball ahead of center, a nice aggressive stroke, nicely underneath, pops it straight up in the air very nearly hitting the roof of the building in here. That’s how steeply this came up. That’s come up at normally 60, 70 degrees straight up in the air. There's not many bunkers that that shot wouldn’t come out of, even if you're in a very big steep lip bunker, that shot that would pop out over the lip, rescue my score in that hole, maybe not putted, we'll get it down for a bogey at worst, but it should take out the card wreckers if you play the bunker shots like that.